Monday, April 13, 2015

HANDEL's "MESSIAH" Premieres in Dublin ~ 1742

I've been to Dublin once, back in May of 1996. I was part of the entertainment for a group from Texas. They rented one of the restored castles on the Pale, the outskirts of Dublin. That defined the protected area. Anything further was 'beyond the Pale.'

I really liked Dublin, particularly Trinity College. I saw several pages of the Book of Kells in the Trinity College Library. Years ago it was on tour, and I viewed it at the Palace of Legion of Honor here in San Francisco.

Since the English controlled Ireland for many centuries-- and Dublin was in fact almost always an English enclave after being founded by Vikings-- St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin is Church of Ireland, that is connected with the Anglican communion, not Roman Catholic. The Roman Cathedral is St. Mary's. I attended services at both, plus Christ Church Cathedral, a second Anglican Cathedral with a marvelous mixed choir of men and women. Until I sang with the Schola Cantorum, I had never heard such a beautiful blend of women's voices in a liturgical setting.

The location of the first performance of Handel's Messiah was but a short distance from Christ Church Cathedral. But I had to scour the area in order to locate it. There was only a small plaque on a rather dilapidated building near some construction sites. Perhaps it has a more appropriate marker today after completion of the project.


Revisit my February 17, 2010 post "Hallelujah!" for an account of George II's first hearing of Messiah.

No comments:

Titian in the Frari (Venezia)